Page 5385 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 16 November 2011

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looking at all policies and procedures, and it is part of that. So we have agreed with that recommendation, noting that it is a priority and that it has commenced.

MS BRESNAN: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.

MS BRESNAN: Minister, why does the government disagree that young people on remand should not be given the same access to leave opportunities as sentenced detainees, and what has been done to ensure that remandees are individually risk-assessed?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Bresnan for the question. Every resident that is at Bimberi, whether on remand or sentenced, is individually assessed and appropriate programs are put in place for them.

Children and young people—care and protection

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Community Services. Minister, officials of your directorate, in a briefing on Northern Bridging Support Services given to me on 8 September, informed me that emergency placements of children were made with NBSS, even though NBSS was not authorised as a suitable entity. The Children and Young People Act contemplates such situations, enabling the chief executive to give oral authorisation. In doing so, the act also requires the chief executive to follow up such oral authorisations in writing and to give the written authorisation to the agency. Minister, at any time did the chief executive of your directorate exercise his discretion to give oral authorisation for NBSS to be classified as a suitable entity?

MS BURCH: No, Mr Speaker, and I think those opposite know that if you refer to the Solicitor General’s advice that that was not necessary to provide those placements.

MRS DUNNE: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, why did the chief executive not exercise his discretion to give oral emergency authorisation to NBSS to be classed as a suitable entity, and did he at any time consider that there was a need to do so?

MS BURCH: Again I refer to the Government Solicitor’s advice to those opposite that those measures, those responses, were not necessary to make that placement lawful.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

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